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5 Simple DIY Projects for the New Year

By Sarah Lefebvre on Jan 07 2016
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If you are anything like the rest of us, the new year brings a new energy, a long list of resolutions and an enthusiasm to get things done. Here are 5 easy DIY projects for the home - from cleaning up and organising the garage to tidying closets and pantry's. We hope these help you get the ball rolling for an organised and tidy 2016

5 Simple DIY Projects for the New Year

Easy new year home projects

Spruce up the Garage

When you're working around your home, whether just taking care of some spring cleaning, doing renovations or even preparing your house for sale, it's surprisingly easy to overlook the humble garage. So many use the garage for little more than its primary purpose - car storage - and maybe a place to stash things away if we don't need regular access to them.

But what if your garage could be so much more? Why can't you make it a more inviting space, and even find some uses for it you might not have previously thought of? When you get right down to it, the garage is just another room in your house, and it doesn't have to be unappealing.

Have a Clean Out

Being such a neglected space, it's easy for your garage to become incredibly cluttered. Piles upon piles of unnecessary stuff can quickly build up, forgotten behind the garage door or even shoved up into the rafters. In fact, a 2013 Newspoll survey found that two-thirds of Australians felt they had too much stuff in their houses, and a whopping 79 per cent regretted impulse buys that they had made.

If you're having difficulty finding room in your garage to tuck away your latest load of unnecessary bric-a-brac, maybe it's time you bit the bullet and had a clear out. What better way is there to make room in your garage than by hosting a garage sale? Take advantage of your neighbours' fondness for impulse buys by off-loading some of your own!

Organise Whats Left

How many of us have taken the time to clear out an area of our home, only to have said area fall into disarray again within weeks? Breaking the cycle of clutter can be one of the biggest challenges of maintaining the usefulness of your garage, so it's important to take the time to organise.

Depending on how much stuff you've kept after your initial purge, working out a storage plan can be a big job. For maximum effectiveness, separate similar items into groups, and then work out where to keep those things in your garage.

For example, keeping all of your gardening supplies together can make life easier when you're planning some summer landscaping, particularly if you don't have to sift through all your power tools, travel luggage, old toys and who knows what else.

Making a trip to your local hardware store and purchasing some storage bins in various sizes is a great way to keep things neat. If you want to get more serious, installing some new shelving or partitions in your garage can also be a game-changer.

Audit Your Security

While you're sorting everything and squaring it all away, maybe it's a good time to assess how secure your garage is. In theory, everything you have decided to keep is important to you in some way, so making sure it's all protected should be a no-brainer.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that in 2013-14, almost 230,000 Australian households experienced at least one break-in to their home, garage or shed. If you want to avoid being added to that statistic in the future, take a look at the locks on your garage doors and windows, and whether they could do with replacing. Security can also play a part in your organising, as it may be a good idea to keep any expensive or valuable items away from windows and out of sight.

If you, like so many others, have been neglecting your garage for a long time, it's easy to be intimidated by the task of tidying. Once it's done however, you might be surprised just how useful a well-organised garage can be, and how it can become an attractive and inviting part of your home.

Clear the Cupboard Clutter

If you received or treated yourself to some stunning new summer clothes over the holiday season, now may be a great time to redo the wardrobe! If you don't want to get rid of too much, simply take out all the winter clothing and store it in suitcases or in spare rooms, if you have the space.

Then you can sort what is left in your cupboard by the type of clothing it is, dress, pants, coats, shirts etc and if you are feeling like going the extra mile you could organize it by colour.  It will make you feel great when you open it up each day and ensure you can find what you are looking for easily.

While you're at it, compile a group of clothes that you simply won't wear anymore - consider selling it, or giving it away to a local charity.

Kids Cupboards Need a Clean Out Too

Many of you who have children and celebrate Christmas will find you have more toys and clothes than you do space.  Now is a great time to go through your children’s cupboards and clear out the clothes that don’t fit them anymore and remove the toys they just don’t play with. 

There are many charities who would love to accept your good quality hand me downs so sort your stuff into a charity pile and a chuck out pile.

A tip I’ve learnt is if you have young children it’s best to do this by yourself and they will not want to get rid of anything making this process challenging, but if you have older children going through it together and working out what charity you want to donate the old items to is a good lesson for kids to learn how their items can help other families.

An Organised Pantry

Many food stores can build up over time in your pantry. From Christmas leftovers still uneaten to various homemade condiments gifted by friends and family, to the old products that have remained untouched for months - now is the time to let them all go!

Take everything out, and be ruthless - throw out anything you haven't used recently. Then you can organise the pantry as you see fit, putting baking goods, condiments, breads, canned foods, coffee and the like all in their own section. Consider heading out and purchasing a series of matching containers that you can easily label as well - these can be invaluable when it comes to storing flour, cereal and grain products.  Lining these containers up next to each other looks great and you’ll feel super organized when you open up the pantry door and see a neat and tidy space.

If you made your 2016 resolution to eat healthier, this would also be a good time to stock up on some healthy options.  Make sure you check out our ‘Setting Up Your Whole Food Pantry’ article to help you get started.

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